A Glimpse into Vertex School's Unique Learning Journey

A Glimpse into Vertex School's Unique Learning Journey

In this article we explore what set's Vertex School apart, straight from the perspective of an enthusiast who found their creative haven within its virtual walls.

Feature image courtesy of Jacob Claussen, Environment Art Director at Fall Damage & Mentor at Vertex School

Feature image courtesy of Jacob Claussen, Environment Art Director at Fall Damage & Mentor at Vertex School

Vertex School Inc. is a respected and well known online school that is rewriting the rules of education. In this article we explore what set's Vertex School apart, straight from the perspective of an enthusiast who found their creative haven within its virtual walls.

Can you introduce your school to us and share what makes it special from your perspective?

Sure! Vertex is an exceptional online school that specialises in 3D environment art for gaming. What sets Vertex apart, in my opinion, is its unwavering commitment to providing a fast-track learning experience. The program is designed as a rigorous 9-month boot camp, ensuring that students are equipped with the necessary skills in a concentrated timeframe. One of the most remarkable aspects is that prior experience in the 3D world isn't required; this means that someone like me, with no prior knowledge in the field, could jump right in and thrive.

What truly distinguishes Vertex is its faculty. The instructors are not only knowledgeable but are also actively working professionals within the industry. This dynamic adds a unique dimension to the learning process, as they bring real-world insights and contemporary techniques straight from their jobs to the virtual classroom.

Founded by accomplished artist Ryan Kingslien, Vertex offers a diverse range of classes that delve into the intricacies of the 3D world. Whether it's character design, environmental modeling, or just training artists for the future, Vertex covers it all. As someone who began with zero experience in 3D art, Vertex provided me with a comprehensive and supportive learning environment that empowered me to quickly grasp the fundamentals and techniques required in the industry.

What made you choose this school, and has it lived up to your expectations?

I chose Vertex for several compelling reasons, and I'm delighted to say that it has exceeded my expectations in every way. One of the primary factors that drew me to Vertex was its emphasis on being a fast and efficient learning pathway. The promise of a 9-month boot camp format meant I could dive into the world of 3D environment art without a long-term commitment, which was perfect for someone like me who was eager to learn and transition into this field quickly.

Moreover, the fact that Vertex requires no prior experience in 3D was a game-changer for me. As a beginner, I was initially concerned about my ability to catch up, but Vertex's comprehensive curriculum and hands-on guidance from industry professionals quickly dispelled those worries. The affordability of the program was another important consideration; it's not often you find a high-quality program that aligns with your budget.

How do students and teachers interact at the school, and is there a supportive mentorship dynamic?

At Vertex, the interaction between students and teachers is supportive, fostering a strong mentorship dynamic. We primarily engage through platforms like Discord, where we share our progress, discuss challenges, and exchange ideas. This virtual community becomes a hub for learning, enabling students to receive timely feedback and guidance from both instructors and peers.

A standout feature is the personalised mentorship, which I found incredibly valuable. I had the opportunity to have one-on-one video calls with my mentor, Jacob Claussen, an Environment Art Director at Fall Damage in Sweden. This hour-long session, sometimes longer, allowed for in-depth discussions, tailored feedback, and insights into the industry.

The mentorship dynamic not only encouraged my growth but also highlighted Vertex's commitment to nurturing aspiring artists into skilled professionals.

What have you found most valuable about your learning experience so far, and how has it impacted your artistic growth?

What I've found most valuable in my learning experience at Vertex is the ability to quickly master a complex craft within a short timeframe. This accelerated learning has allowing me to gain proficiency in 3D environment art in a remarkably efficient manner. Additionally, my background in photography and set design has seamlessly translated into this new art form, enriching my skill set and facilitating my artistic growth. The fusion of these skills has enabled me to approach 3D environment art with a unique perspective and contribute in ways that set me apart.

Can you share an example of an assignment where you received valuable feedback from your teachers?

An assignment that stands out is related to the texturing process, which initially posed challenges for me due to its complexity. Understanding the potential of individual maps and effectively bringing them to life in Unreal Engine was a steep learning curve, but my mentor Jacob was incredibly patient and supportive. His guidance helped me navigate these intricacies, illustrating the power of experience and time in mastering such concepts.

What helpful resources or opportunities does the art school provide outside of regular classes?

Beyond regular classes, Vertex provides valuable insights by having instructors like Jacob Claussen discuss industry trends and current events. Jacob's habit of sharing his observations at the start of each class sparks discussions among students, creating an environment where we can exchange thoughts on relevant subjects in the field.

Can you describe any collaborative projects or experiences that have enhanced your artistic skills and fostered teamwork?

While I haven't yet participated in collaborative projects, my focus at Vertex has been primarily on building foundational skills and techniques. While collaborative experiences have been limited, the program's emphasis on individual growth and mastery has provided a strong basis for future teamwork and artistic endeavours.

Have you had the opportunity to work with industry professionals or participate in real-world projects during your time at the school?

During my time at the school, I haven't had the opportunity to work with industry professionals or engage in real-world projects. However, the program's emphasis on skill development and industry insights has laid a strong foundation for potential future collaborations and real-world engagements.

How does the art school promote diversity and inclusivity within its student community, and how has this enriched your educational experience?

Vertex promotes diversity and inclusivity by fostering an environment where everyone is welcome. As an older student, I found great enrichment in being accepted into a younger group of artists. This exchange of perspectives has enhanced my educational experience, offering unique insights while allowing me to contribute my own viewpoint.

What are your future goals, and how do you feel your school has prepared you for them?

My future goal is to work as an Environment Artist or Lighting Artist in the industry, as both areas resonate strongly with my passion. You can read more about what I have learned and how I apply it to my work in this breakdown article featured on The Rookies blog here.

Vertex has provided me with valuable insights into industry workflows and introduced me to current standards. Armed with this knowledge, it's now up to me to shape these foundations into a successful career.

Aaron Hawks has transformed from novice to skilled 3D artist at Vertex, with a passion for gaming art. You can reach out to Aaron at the links below.

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